- Cycle Day: 15
- Treatments: 3 follicle scans to check egg growth process, IUI scheduled for this week!!
- Meds: 225 IU HMG (7 total), HCG injection to trigger ovulation
- Mental State: Calm, Ready.
This photo was take last November, right after I found out I was pregnant. Weeks before it was all ruined by an ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery, losing my baby as well as a Fallopian tube.
At that moment though, I felt so mischievous knowing such an important amazing thing… that I could share with no one…..
Oh who am I kidding. We were bursting at the seems!!!! We didn’t tell everyone– but we did blab our big news to a handful of people. Mostly people we’d been sharing or struggles with. Infertility and treatments are so isolating– all you want is for people to understand what you’re going through and to feel valid and supported in your choices it was so nice to finally have something GOOD to share with those people!!!
We decided not to tell our parents, not yet anyway. We had already sort of planned to get both my husband’s parents here for Christmas and I knew it wouldn’t be TOOOO hard to get my mom here so we’d wait until Christmas to put together some magical way of telling all of our parents at the same time.
Along the way, there were a few people who were surprised at our decision to share so early on “oh it’s too early!! You should wait til after the first trimester” WHY I thought!!??? It did not even occur to me that early loss could be our reality all I knew was that THIS WAS IT…..
And then it wasn’t.
If someone shares with you that they’re pregnant please don’t question why they’ve told you– at whatever point. They’ll probably spend the rest of their lives thinking they jinxed it…. because that’s what you’re saying.
Plus, if the unspeakable should happen— it’s your job to be there for that. In whatever capacity they need you to be.
I wonder daily if I jinxed my baby… and I wonder when I get pregnant (because I will!!) — if I will jinx it again!? I doubt I’ll keep my pregnancy super secret in the future because throughout this journey I have found such comfort in sharing the experiences and growing a cheering squad that would make any sports team green with envious rage— and why wouldn’t I share the good stuff too!!! That, and also because I need support. I need people in my corner. Celebrating, and praying and sending all those good vibes into the world! Live in this world with me, please.
Please recognize that If someone shares their life with you, they’ve picked this time and this place to be truthful, even if it hurts. Even if it doesn’t turn out like it should. Please don’t judge people for craving that connection and letting you in.
For now, we are going into the following week with our insemination scheduled, hoping, praying, and willing for this time to be IT!! I don’t know when I will feel open to sharing more news, but when that time comes I trust you will be there….
- Cycle Days: 2 & 3
- Treatments: 1st Ultrasound, Initial Blood work, 75mg Femara
- Mental State: Day 2: Nervous, Day 3, I got this.
This is me… taking a breath before going into my Cycle Day 2 ultrasound. This is me making a choice, opening up my head and heart to a new possibility. A possibility to realize my dreams… or to have them puréed…. which will it be???? Have to wait and see!!!
(And PS I don’t even wanna hear it about my stupid filter. I love it, I’m adorable, it’s my thing, get over it haters!!!! Hahaha)
I’m super nervous as I turn the handle and push open the heavy wooden door, it loudly creaks open. The first step down into this rabbit hole. One I’ve fallen down a number of times, yet each time it’s a new an foreign sensation. My stomach and head are spinning… wondering what kind of news I’ll get… as we shake the magic 8 ball that is my vagina.
The seating in the waiting room gives me almost as much anxiety as the appointment I’m there for. Pompous dark fluffy couches that are basically a foot off the ground… I know with 100% certainly that I will not look graceful when I try to remove myself from it. They wait the perfect amount of time to call my name… not long enough for me to stress spiral, but just long enough for my ass to have made an everlasting bond …. and with that it’s time to hoist myself up and out of the fluffy trap I’ve been bamboozled into. Oh the life of an awkward girl…you can take this moment to picture it, and laugh- it’s cool. Go ahead!
This appointment signifies one year of treatments. Which is disappointing, but also helpful in that we now have whole year’s worth of measurable data. Data to analyze, compare, and obsess over. This data will help us come up with the best plan! Plans are good…. there are a few different scenarios that could come to pass, and I’m grateful for the facts, the honesty and the options I have to choose from. Choices are good. Data is good. The hope and promise of a possibility… is good.
And then we cut to today…
Blood work for the upcoming cycle, which is basically a rework of the original blood work because we’re now a year in we need to … you guessed it analyze and review!
I am typically a “hard stick” at the ol blood bank. Meaning all the phlebotomist see me coming and run for cover. They take turns drawing straws… which is a total waste of time – but I’ll get to that!
My favorite phlebotomist Sean is there and I’m happy. Many many times he’s saved the day and got my blood when no one could…. but today…. might Sean has struck out!!!
I need to fill up 7 vials… he tries and manages to get some blood, but it’s not enough and we end up wasting what he did pull because it clotted up and was no good. He tries two more time, with similar failing results. Next!!!
I go through every single technician in the joint! All 5 literally took a stab at me in order to kind of fill the 7 more vials needed! 5 techs, 8 puncture wounds to remember them by, 7.5 vials filled-ish, 2 and a half hours spent with my “friends” at Sonora Quest…. Normally this sort of thing would really take the wind out of my sails. Normally I would be broken and beaten down. Believe me — it was no cup of tea — and given the option I would certainly pass…. but today, I can’t be phased. Steps in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for!
Mental State: Grateful
Here’s the thing about Cycle Day 1. Apart from being what it is- which is sort of miserable and tedious in general, if you’re someone who is trying to get pregnant it tends to represent the finality of failure in your efforts, at least for that cycle. It sucks. It’s also not physically pleasant, which also sucks. It all sucks. It just does-anyone who tries to tell you different waives any and all rights and in so doing provides tacit compliance to receive a direct punch to the face, chest or groin- dealers choice. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding….. who’s gonna punch the chest?? Go with the face or groin.)
Having said all that I have really been trying not to lose myself in all the negativity that comes with TTC. Perhaps it’s working, because today when my Aunt Flo (AF) finally arrived after 50 full days — I felt nothing but grateful, and relieved.
Relief, that despite my lack of pregnancy my body is working again. This means I have another chance!! I am in control of whatever choice that is ahead! And, for me any control is better than none at all!! I’ll be heading back to our specialist to analyze the causes for such a long cycle and what our options are going forward.
Being grateful is the most powerful weapon any of us really have against negative feelings. I feel like I’m a better, braver, stronger person when I am free from those toxic feelings. And to proceed and keep fighting I will need to be brave, and strong.
- Cycle Day: 42 (17 days past possible late ovulation)
- Pregnancy Tests: Infinity ⛔️
- Mental State: Impatient
This week’s excerpt has been one of the hardest for me to complete. Which, is astounding when you consider the very personal and detailed information I’ve shared over the last few months.
This week not unlike others, I struggled. I was emotional, confused, scared, angry and fearful about nearly everything but mostly the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the future. Being stuck in an extended holding period like I am, causes a lot of anxiety– apparently.
This cycle is lasting a very long time which is both good and bad. It’s good, because there is still a glimmer of hope that I could turn out to be pregnant, but bad in that despite my period being late I have not yielded a positive pregnancy test. This uncertainty tends to unhinge me a bit, and it causes the less rational and destructive parts of my brain to take over the controls.
I have never even realized that this alternative psyche existed until recently. I’m very rough on myself. Far more critical to myself than I would be to anyone in the outside world. I tend to have the highest of expectations, and very little patience for failure or for waiting in general. Not a good thing when your primary goal involves mostly waiting!
I found myself mid meltdown this week trying to figure out what tipped me over the edge…. and I couldn’t! I sat crying in a bathroom stall at work, feeling afraid, sad, and guilty for feeling all of the above! Nothing specifically happened to me, other than this sudden tsunami of emotion, that may have been purely hormonal.
Luckily, since my loss in December I have started seeing a therapist. I have regular appointments set every few weeks and while some times I see her with nothing serious or upsetting to report, others like this week I was able to work through all of these feelings to a constructive end. There is no measure for the benefit I have realized with therapy.
In times like these, the only thing to do is: LABEL the feeing….. “I am anxious because I do not have control of these circumstances”. Then, TAKE AWAY THE POWER, by doing anything that you CAN control. Any distraction is typically GOOD distraction. The last thing to do, is to reaffirm positive statements to yourself. For me, the internal voice comes at a whisper and usually I don’t even realize it’s happening until the damage has been done. It whispers of failure, paralysis, weakness and all at once I am consumed by a deep fog of doubt, fear and sadness. The only way to prevent or reverse the hostile take over is to remind myself that this place is not permanent. My journey is far from over. I am doing everything I can to make my dreams come true– and I am.
- Cycle Day: 35
- Days Late: 2ish
- Pregnancy Tests: 5 (I’ve been impatient) all negative
- Mental State: Impatient and a bit anxious, but I think we covered that with the amount of tests I’ve taken…..
On my way home from work on Wednesday I was thinking about what to have for dinner. I’ve been going pretty hard on a daytime juice fast– so by the time dinner comes around I’m crazy excited for whatever meal Is going to happen- yay food!! I decided to whisk my husband away for a midweek date– ’cause we can. One of the benefits of not having kids that we frequently cash in on, is that we can do whatever we want without having to also consider a wee one.
We find ourselves at a local Mexican food eatery, and at the table closest to us is an adorable baby, probably 8-10 months old. Adorable. Squishy. Chunky baby!
She locks eyes with me and for the rest of our meal is giggling, smiling and reaching for us. Not an uncommon reaction I might add. My husband is always so cute with little ones, making faces and raspberry noises at them. He’s a giant kid, so naturally they all gravitate to his playful and hilarious charm. It’s the cutest damn thing ever.
There is a nuts part of me that just tends to linger on these fleeting moments and wonder…. where the heck is our chunky baby!?? And it’s hard not to feel shafted, angry, sad, resentful… and a thousand other things. For now, I’m focusing on her beautiful smile, how her giggle echoed and clanked off the walls of the restaurant and how good it felt to draw her attention even if only for a few moments, for whatever reason. She picked us.
For now, I can do nothing more than mentally pin that baby to my vision board… and hope the universe makes good at some point! I’m real exhausted, keeping the faith is my cardio!
- Cycle Day: 29
- Status: Two Week Wait in full effect
- Mental State: Hopeful
I’ve never really told the story of Karate James…. I figure now is a good time. Since, some day around this time he would have been born.
It was our third attempt at IUI. I was several days late and had already tested negative a few days prior. Feeling some symptoms, I reluctantly bought a “good” pregnancy test – anyone TTC knows there are good ones, and the ones you buy in bulk cause who can afford the “good” ones at the rate we blow through them! I sat there staring at the digital hour glass waiting expectantly for “not pregnant” to appear like it always does… bitter and annoyed that obviously any minute it would pop up and ruin my day…. and then all of a sudden…. the greatest word appeared, “pregnant”. “What!?!?” I audibly asked this thing I just peed on… “WHAT!???”
We’ve always joked and never quite been in agreement about what we’d name our kid some day. At times there were names we both could agree not to hate. In the end we figured that was a problem for “Future Us” to solve so we never really negotiated to completion on the subject. One thing I knew, was that our kid would need a really awesome name…
While watching the Olympic summer games there was an athlete named Karani James. Except, every time the announcer called his name it sounded like Karate. We both laughed and agreed that’d be a badass name for a kid. We’d never actually do that of course… would we??? No of course not that would be ridiculous……
I swear, the minute we knew I was pregnant, even though we didn’t know the baby’s sex we started calling our kid Karate. It was the perfect name for our “pre-kid”. Karate, was obviously awesome and James is my husbands middle name so we’ve covered our basis there with some tradition– BAM!? Perfect! I mean sure, we’d come up with a real, suitable name for him in the next several months, but for now —Karate James was all that mattered.
I got to hold Karate for a grand total of 8 weeks. Thanks to a troubling ultrasound at 5 weeks, half of that time was spent worried that it would all end. Wondering if it was ever even real. And knowing that as fast as it all began it would soon be over. I did consciously decide to enjoy how much time I was granted, but it was really tough being given an open end on something so precious. “Maybe this will work out – and maybe not”.
I have found out a lot about myself since I lost Karate. It’s ever unfolding and evolving, but I persist. In the pursuit of a family, I know in my gut we will have some day.
Every single day, I see something that reminds me of those 8 amazing weeks were I was a mom, and I’m desperate for that feeling again.
I went for a walk the other day, and a breeze kicked up and all around and I felt him there. I closed my eyes and let the wind blow my hair and face, and I felt a powerful peace sweep over me…. I’m thankful for moments like that. Times where I can connect with him somehow, and I feel him nudging my life forward.